Young woman nabbed for smuggling arms to Russia
A young Russian woman has been arrested in the United States for allegedly attempting to smuggle sophisticated rifles to Moscow in her luggage, Justice Department documents obtained by AFP Tuesday showed.
Latvian-born Anna Fermanova, 24, was arrested July 15 but her case was unrelated to that of 11 people rounded up in the United States on charges of spying for Moscow, her lawyer Scott Palmer said.
Fermanova was being investigated in New York after authorities found weapons in baggage bound for Russia March 1 at New York's John F. Kennedy international airport. A court source said she has not yet been charged.
She was questioned about three rifles equipped with scopes, including one that had night vision capabilities, according to the documents.
The woman who lives in Texas, said she bought them for her husband, who resides in Moscow, to use for hunting. She also said she was unaware of US export regulations.
When asked "why some identification numbers had been covered with black marker pen, Fermanova replied that she had removed and otherwise concealed the identification markings 'so they would be less noticeable,'" the documents also said.
The weapons the woman had in her suitcase can be bought on the Internet in the United States for about 7,000 dollars. Websites selling the goods however say that only police and military members should be eligible to carry them.
© 2010 AFP